Neo Geo

Created by SNK it was marketed as a 24-bit system, but it was really a 16-bit. Considering that its graphics were light years better than other 16-bit systems it made sense. However, the system was designed more to be rented by hotels and places that wanted a portable arcade. With the console wars heating up in the early 90’s SNK released it for sale, but with a price tag of over $600 and games over $100 it never made it into the mainstream. However there were many incredible games for the Neo Geo and you can see some of the and their reviews here.

Neo Geo

King of the Monsters

The titanic battles take the form of wrestling matches which, to quote good old Mene Gene, are ‘scheduled for one fall’ and are contested by six monsters – Geon (a Godzilla-like dinosaur), Woo (a blue King Kong-like ape), Poison Ghost (a creature made of toxic waste like Hydorah), Rocky (who is… umm… a rocky creature), Beetle Mania (a large Megalon-like beetle), and Astro Guy (a courageous Ultraman-like superhero). Any of them can be selected and all are fought twice (including your own character) before the game is finished.

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Neo Geo

Metal Slug 3

The third mission begins in a janky underwater area and the entire stage exemplifies the initial slow pace of MS3 in comparison to other titles in the series. The third mission’s boss is very easy and very generic, which does nothing to prepare you for the little stage of horrors that is the fourth mission. Our zombie friends are back, newly equipped with their own blood-vomit attack, along with Audrey-esque cannibalistic plants. This stage is hard, bloody, and will leave you begging for more.

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Neo Geo

Neo Drift Out

As with the prequel, each course has to be completed within a pretty strict time limit in order to qualify for the next one and they are arguably more testing than before too with regard to the sheer frequency of harsh corners. It seems every other turn here is a hairpin, right-angle, or chicane, and there are numerous short-cuts and obstacles as well. For example, the snow stage features slippy ice patches and course-encroaching snow drifts! Fortunately your car is more than sufficient for power-sliding around most of them, but impact with any obstacles or trackside objects knocks it around costing you speed and therefore time.

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Neo Geo

Robo Army

Aside from the awful title screen (see above!), the presentation and graphics are pretty decent here for an early Neo Geo game. There are some cut-scenes between levels (which I’m afraid I can’t follow as I have the Japanese version of the game!), the sprites are big and nicely drawn, and the backgrounds are packed with detail for the most part and feature nice use of colours. The only problem is the lack of variety. Despite being set in pretty diverse locations, most of the levels have a very similar feel to them. The only moment in the game where it seems like the designers are trying to mix it up a bit is the rope section where you must climb down the screen whilst attempting to see off the many foes at the same time.

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